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2022 NFL preseason rookie QB roundup: Desmond Ridder, Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell shine; Matt Corral struggles

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Week 1 of the preseason all the time brings excitement with football returning, especially as teams get their first take a look at the rookies on their roster. This yr’s rookie quarterback class wasn’t as strong as in recent times, yet lots of the young signal-callers got their first taste of NFL motion this weekend. 

Kenny Pickett, the lone quarterback taken in the primary round this yr, is battling for the starting quarterback job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Desmond Ridder will be the starter down the road for the Atlanta Falcons, while Matt Corral and Sam Howell wait patiently with the Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders, respectively.

Although he isn’t a rookie, Trey Lance enters the season because the No. 1 quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Given how little Lance has played over the past two seasons (one in college and one within the NFL), let’s group Lance with the rookie signal-callers for this experiment. 

Below is a roundup of how all of the rookie quarterbacks fared — with a special exception given to Lance — this weekend. 

Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers, second yr)

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Playing just 11 snaps was enough for 49ers fans to get a glimpse of what Lance brings to the offense, as he accomplished 4 of 5 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Lance threw an ideal deep pass to Danny Gray for a 76-yard rating to cap off his night, giving the 49ers a 10-7 lead when he left the sphere.

Lance finished with an ideal passer rating of 158.3 in his debut because the No. 1 quarterback, with the 49ers scoring on each of his possessions. The 49ers haven’t got plans to play Lance next week, so this may increasingly be it for him this preseason.

Not a foul cameo appearance. 

Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh Steelers)

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What a formidable performance from Pickett, who took over within the second half of his debut for the Steelers. Battling for the starting quarterback job, Pickett entered the sport after Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph but finished 13 of 15 for 95 yards with two touchdowns and nil interceptions (132.6 rating). 

Pickett threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Tyler Vaughns with three seconds left to offer Pittsburgh a 32-25 victory over Seattle. The pass went for twenty-four yards, as Vaughns used his yards-after-the-catch ability to seek out the top zone. 

Perhaps Pickett moves up the depth chart next week.

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Willis showed flashes in his Titans’ debut, ending 6 for 11 for 107 yards (88.1 rating) with a rushing touchdown in his two and a half quarters of motion. Also having five carries for 38 yards, Willis showcased his dual-threat ability at quarterback — but ran a bit an excessive amount of for Mike Vrabel’s liking.

The Tennessee head coach took Willis out of the sport midway through a drive within the third quarter because he wanted his quarterback to throw the ball. 

“He must attempt to throw the ball when guys are open,” Vrabel said. “Be more decisive, so we’ll evaluate that and see if there’s a timing issue or what is going on on. I desired to get him on the market and see how he responded. He did okay. There have been some good plays. Obviously, some plays that we’ll have to take a look at the timing on the discharge and if we’re making the correct decisions.”

Desmond Ridder (Atlanta Falcons)

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Ridder arguably had the highest performance of all of the rookie quarterbacks in Week 1, though the third-round pick from Cincinnati won’t be winning the starting job in Atlanta. He made an incredible first impression, ending 10 of twenty-two for 103 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions (89.8 rating) while also leading the Falcons with six carries for 59 yards. 

Along with his strong play, Ridder threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jared Bernhardt on fourth-and-9 with 1:30 remaining to offer the Falcons a 27-23 victory over the Detroit Lions. Perhaps head coach Arthur Smith may need something to take into consideration together with his starting quarterback in the approaching weeks if Ridder keeps up his strong play.

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Howell had a formidable debut for Washington, ending 9 of 16 for 145 yards (86.7 rating) while also rushing for 2 touchdowns (three carries for 19 yards). He juked a number of defenders on his 17-yard touchdown run early within the fourth quarter and in addition scored on a 1-yard run to place Washington up some extent with 2:26 to play. 

Howell is listed because the No. 3 quarterback behind Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, however the fifth-round pick showed flashes why he was considered a top-10 pick a yr ago at the moment.

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The third-round pick from Mississippi went 1 of 9 for 11 yards for Carolina, yet led the Panthers on the scoring drive that resulted in Zane Gonzalez’s 45-yard field goal in the ultimate minute. Corral is the No. 3 quarterback behind Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold because the pair battle for a starting job. 

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Regardless of how the play-calling duties were split, Zappe had a formidable showing for the Patriots in his debut. His 20-yard touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey gave Recent England a 21-20 lead within the fourth quarter against the Recent York Giants — serving because the highlight of a 19 for 32 showing. 

Zappe entered the sport midway through the second quarter and threw for 205 yards with a touchdown and an interception (75.6 rating). The Patriots scored two touchdowns on his eight possessions.

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An undrafted free agent signing with the Ravens, Brown entered the sport within the second half of Baltimore’s 23-10 victory over Tennessee. Brown finished 10 of 15 for 117 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions (90.1 rating), leading the Ravens to field goals on all three of his possessions. 

With Lamar Jackson not playing the preseason opener, Brown relieved Tyler Huntley to open the second half. He’s battling for the No. 3 quarterback job with Brett Hundley. 

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An undrafted free agent, the previous Washington State quarterback went 7 of 10 for 54 yards and a touchdown within the fourth quarter for the Cardinals. Guarantano also had 4 carries for 10 yards within the win. 

Guarantano played the second half and led the Cardinals on two touchdown drives. He’s the fourth quarterback on Arizona’s depth chart. 

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A undrafted free agent rookie for the Bengals, Plitt led Cincinnati on a formidable 11-play, 94-yard drive in his lone series late within the fourth quarter. He capped the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kendric Pryor, ending the night 6 of 6 for 76 yards with an ideal passer rating of 158.3. 

Plitt is currently the fourth-string quarterback on the Bengals depth chart, but could have played his way into consideration for the No. 3 job. 

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The seventh-round draft pick from Iowa State finished 3 of 6 for 36 yards and a touchdown (106.6 rating) in his lone series for the 49ers. With Jimmy Garoppolo on the trading block, Purdy has a chance to make the roster because the No. 3 quarterback — which was what he was listed as in Week 1 of the preseason. 

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Crum finished 6 of 11 for 18 yards (60.0 rating), entering the sport midway through the third quarter for Kansas City. The previous Kent State quarterback was an undrafted free agent signing by the Chiefs, yet is an extended shot to make the roster at once because the No. 4 quarterback. 

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Coan finished 1 of 5 for 0 yards in mop-up duty for Indianapolis. The undrafted free agent from Wisconsin and Notre Dame is the fourth quarterback on the depth chart, behind Sam Ehlinger for the No. 3 job. 

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Thompson played the complete game for the Dolphins, ending 20 of 28 for 218 yards and a touchdown within the 26-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The seventh-round pick hit Lynn Bowden on a 22-yard pass within the second quarter for the rating. 

The No. 3 quarterback got a great look within the preseason opener. 

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